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Who runs GPS?

February 16, 2023  - By


National Executive Committee for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing (EXCOM)

The EXCOM, an interagency body, guides and preserves whole-of-government interests in the provision of space-based PNT services, augmentations, and space-based alternatives. The term “space-based PNT” refers here to GPS, GPS augmentations and other global navigation satellite systems.

Established by Presidential Directive (and updated periodically, most recently by Presidential Space Policy Directive-7), the EXCOM is co-chaired by the deputy secretaries of the departments of Defense and Transportation or their designated representatives.



  • Coordinates GPS-related matters across multiple federal agencies to ensure that the system addresses national priorities as well as military requirements
  • Includes leadership from the Departments of State, Treasury, Justice, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, and Homeland Security; the Office of the Director of National Intelligence; the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and NASA.
  • Is supported by an Executive Steering Group and several working groups.

National Coordination Office for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (NCO)

A permanent staff hosted by the Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C., this small office plans, schedules, and prepares agendas for the EXCOM and the Executive Steering Group. The NCO also maintains, an invaluable website.

PNT Oversight Council

Operating through the PNT Executive Management Board, it provides GPS guidance for U.S. military and defense only subjects. Planning and orchestration are provided by the Department of Defense (DOD) Chief Information Officer (CIO/C3I). Participation includes key OSD, JCS, and Space Acquisition Staff members, and other invitees depending upon the topic at hand.

(Related article: GAO discusses DOD PNT management and leadership — again.)

Continue reading to learn more about GPS acquisition and sustainment. 

About the Author: Matteo Luccio

Matteo Luccio, GPS World’s Editor-in-Chief, possesses more than 20 years of experience as a writer and editor for GNSS and geospatial technology magazines. He began his career in the industry in 2000, serving as managing editor of GPS World and Galileo’s World, then as editor of Earth Observation Magazine and GIS Monitor. His technical articles have been published in more than 20 professional magazines, including Professional Surveyor Magazine, Apogeo Spatial and xyHt. Luccio holds a master’s degree in political science from MIT. He can be reached at or 541-543-0525.